Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Cathedral of Erudition and the Influence of Bane

(This is a part of my continuing series on the Cathedral of Erudition--a multi-faith temple found in the infamous city of Blackfall. For more on Blackfall and the Cathedral, search for "Cathedral of Erudition" or "Blackfall" on the Google search-bar to your right! Enjoy!)

As mentioned previously, the Cathedral of Erudition is one of the few places in civilized society where Bane is openly (if grudgingly) worshipped. The Cathedral maintains a small shrine, specific to Bane, in its open-worship chamber, which has created no small amount of controversy within the Blackfall community at large. Within the Cathedral, Bane is typically viewed in his aspect as “The Steadfast General,” as opposed to ‘The Lord of Tyranny” or “The Slave-taker”.

As any historian may note, the city of Blackfall could not have been founded without Bane’s influence. In centuries gone by, Blackfall was once a massive orc encampment known as Mahalek Manshalan (the Magma Lord’s Salvation) which had stood for years, after escaping from an elvish war-tribe. This encampment was destroyed by a human-led army, under the command of Dorian “Helmcrack” Dalathon, who was well-known to be a worshipper of Bane and counted numerous priests of the Lord of Chains in his war-band.

When the orc-camp was decimated, Dorian built the first stone keep along the Moonraked River, which later became the foundation for Castle Blackfall. A city sprung up surrounding the fortified keep, and the rest, as they say, is history. Bane, whether the populace likes it or not, is a part of their history.

Bane is included in iconography within the Cathedral of Erudition, but usually in a lesser role than in a Cathedral of his faiths’ own creation. One notable example is of a mural found in the Cathedral’s antechamber, depicting Bane and Moradin in full battle-garb, as the two fight back-to-back against a series of savage humanoids.

The community at-large is not pleased with having any worship of Bane ‘tainting’ their Cathedral or their community, and often rails against Bane’s inclusion in Cathedral worship. The two newer heads-of-faith—Delia and Garius—feel this pressure the most, though both believe that Bane has his place within the walls of Blackfall, given the foundations of the city.

True followers of Bane occasionally make pilgrimages to the Cathedral of Erudition, from points unknown. Only one such follower actually makes his home in Blackfall, Wesley Baracus (human paladin/warlord 16), who maintains the shrine to Bane and occasionally runs some of the daily worship services.

Baracus, contrary to popular opinion, is not a slaver, nor is he a vicious butcher of men. Rather, he is a devoted soldier who continually advocates for the proper defense of Blackfall, and for the well-being of its defenders. Few know that Baracus actually runs and funds a clinic, specializing in traumatic injuries and wounds suffered in the line of duty. While not a gregarious man, he stoically continues to make Blackfall a better place to live, and cares little about what people think about him.

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